ADHD coaching can help those with ADHD feel less overwhelmed, improve organisational skills, and work towards goals in a supported way.
What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition involving a number of behaviours. These can include hyperactivity, restlessness, inattentiveness and impulsiveness. ADHD usually first presents in childhood and can continue through to adulthood.
ADHD can be mistaken for laziness and a lack of drive, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Finding a way to work with ADHD and challenging misconceptions is something ADHD coaching can help with.
Those living with ADHD may find it difficult to inhibit their spontaneous responses. This can lead to the following:
- Finding it hard to concentrate and sit still.
- Becoming hyperfocused on a particular task/activity/subject.
- Being easily distracted and sometimes acting without thinking.
- Showing extreme sensitivity to smell, sound and light.
- Interrupting or blurting things out in conversation.
In this video ADHD coach and advocate Stephanie Camilleri explains how coaching can help those with ADHD not only achieve their goals, but their dreams too.
Related conditions in children
Children who are diagnosed with ADHD can also have other conditions, though this is not always the case. Such conditions may include:
- mental health struggles such as anxiety and depression
- dyslexia - struggling with information processing
- sleeping problems - inability to get to sleep, stay asleep or having irregular sleep patterns, often sleeping in the day
- epilepsy - a brain condition causing frequent seizures
Related conditions in adults
Adults can experience other additional conditions alongside ADHD, including:
- bipolar disorder
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
Visit the NHS ADHD hub for more medical information.
Coaching for ADHD
ADHD coaching looks to help those with ADHD embrace the way their brain works so they can reach their full potential. You’ll develop an understanding of the way you behave and learn how to manage symptoms associated with ADHD. It’s a structured process to help you get clear on what you want, what's getting in your way and how to move forward.
Suitable for both children and adults living with ADHD, ADHD coaching sees you and your coach working together to identify what you want to achieve. By developing a trusting partnership, coaches look to empower their clients to recognise their strengths.
Your coach will work with you to identify your own personal goals and develop strategies to achieve them. They'll also help you manage symptoms and learn how to thrive with ADHD. With the help and guidance of your coach, you can develop the self-awareness, self-belief and motivation you need to focus on what you truly want in life.
Your coach will support you in recognising your behaviours and understanding the impact ADHD has on your life.
“Coaching can support people with ADHD to work on their goals, stay on task, avoid procrastinating, reduce anxiety inducing behaviours and become more effective at organisation skills. It can also increase interpersonal skills and assertiveness, helping them ‘get into the flow’ with motivation and address low frustration tolerance.”
- Life coach Sarah Clark
How can ADHD coaching help?
ADHD coaching can help in a variety of ways, encouraging you to stay focused on your goals and manage stressful symptoms. While the methods used will depend on the coach and the client, common benefits include:
Your coach will help you identify goals and what you want to achieve from your sessions. You may learn how to manage expectations of your goals and how to break them into smaller, more manageable tasks. You'll start to recognise what obstacles may stand in your way and devise a structured plan for how to overcome them.
It is common for people with ADHD to struggle to concentrate or focus on tasks for long periods of time. Coaching can help you understand how long each task will take and how to prioritise. You’ll learn how to manage difficult tasks and cope with any difficult emotions that come up.
ADHD coaching can help you manage your thought process when organising tasks. Your coach can help you restructure your environment, leading to a more productive space. You may also learn how to identify distractions and when to remove yourself from the situation.
Your coach can help improve your interpersonal skills and how to manage in social situations. Together you will work to improve your confidence and understand that you can ask for help if you feel you need it.
In this excerpt from I am. I have, Happiful's podcast, Natalie Lee shares how she processed her diagnosis of ADHD as an adult.
What happens in an ADHD coaching session?
Every coach is different and will have their own style of working so it’s important you find the right coach for you. Coaches now offer a variety of ways to hold sessions, which can be: face-to-face, over the phone or online (video calls or email). It’s common for sessions to last around an hour, although this will vary between clients.
The number of ADHD coaching sessions you have will depend on your goals and how the coach works. Your coach can advise their thoughts on the most suitable number of sessions for you.
When you have found a coach you feel comfortable with, you’ll have an initial consultation. In this session, you'll meet your coach and discuss what you hope to achieve from ADHD coaching.
Your coach will ask you questions to help them learn more about you, your condition and how you are currently managing it. After discussing what you want to gain from your sessions, your coach will begin to create a plan tailored to your goals.
It's important to ask questions if you are unsure about any of the processes: you may be given tasks to work on throughout your ADHD coaching and after they finish, so it’s important for you to understand these tasks.
Working with a coach offers a sense of accountability that can be integral for those with ADHD. Having someone to check in with regularly can act as a sort of body doubling technique, which can help those with ADHD stay on task.
What is body doubling?
Body doubling is a technique to help with productivity and motivation. It usually involves working on a task alongside someone else to help you feel more accountable.
Where can I find an ADHD coach?
If you’re ready to start your journey, the next step is to find a coach that you feel comfortable with and can engage with. On Life Coach Directory, we have a proof policy to ensure all professionals listed with us have provided proof of qualifications and insurance or membership with a professional body.
We believe in the importance of finding a coach that resonates with you. To make this easier, we encourage our members to fill their profiles with plenty of information. This way you can learn more about the way they work and if they are the person to help you.